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Active kids rewarded for efforts; Schools striving to reduce obesity levels.


HUNDREDS of fantastically fit youngsters were rewarded for their healthy efforts.

Young people from across Liverpool converged on St George's Hall for the city's Active Oscars.

The event is part of a drive to make children fitter.

Levels of obesity in 11-year-olds are still on the rise in Liverpool. And health chiefs see a reduction in these figures as a priority.

The Liverpool Healthy Schools celebrations, supported by Liverpool Lifestyles and Liverpool Active City, rewarded schools which are placing health and fitness at the heart of pupils' lives.

Seven Liverpool schools earned the government's National Healthy Schools status - awarded for excellence in physical activity, healthy eating and emotional health. They all received special awards.

There were also presentations for young people who have completed Lifestyles Swimming programmes and who took part in the Sportslinx "Cook it challenge" during the year.

It saw pupils compete against each other to create the most delicious, healthy recipes.

Following the Healthy Schools event the celebrations continued as some of the city's most talented sporting youngsters arrived at the Hall for the Liverpool School Sports awards.

Co-ordinated by the Liverpool Schools Sports Federation the awards celebrated the sporting achievements of young people across the city.

Medals were presented to nearly 300 able-bodied and disabled young people who have represented their school or city in county, regional or national sports events.

Liverpool city council leader Councillor Warren Bradley said: "It's vitally important that our schools play a leading role in the health, fitness and well-being of young people.

"These awards are a fantastic way of recognising schools which are going the extra mile to tackle child obesity and build exercise into children's lives.

"The awards also give us the chance to congratulate the fantastic young sportsmen and women who have achieved success over the past year and helped the city build on its outstanding sporting reputation.

"They are a real credit to Liverpool and a fantastic example to other young people in the city."

The Healthy Schools event saw the 2010 Leader's Challenge award launched.

The initiative sets every school in Liverpool the task of coming up with an innovative new project to improve children's health and well-being. The schools who came up with the best ideas in 2009 were St Cecilia's Catholic Infant School, Christ the King Catholic Primary, Sandfield Park and year 10 students at Childwall Sports College.

Ideas included creating allotments, redesigning playgrounds and an animated anti-smoking DVD.

The school council at Childwall College also developed anger management classes.

The Liverpool School Sports Awards covered a variety of sports and highlighted team and individual performances.

Stephen Tiffany, who leads the Liverpool Healthy Schools Team, said: "We applaud the success of our schools in achieving National Healthy Schools status. "It's down to the hard work and commitment of staff and pupils supported by the Liverpool Healthy Schools Team.

"Together we are exceeding our targets and I am certain that all this good work will result in the children of our city being happier and healthier and doing better in learning and in life.

"It's also very important that all children, irrespective of ability, are encouraged to take part in sport and physical activity so that they can reach their full potential.

"We are looking forward to welcoming young people, teachers, sports coaches and parents to thank them for their efforts and celebrate their sporting success."

National Healthy School status requires schools to meet strict targets in personal, social and health education including healthy eating.

The national target is for 75% of schools to have achieved National Healthy Schools Status by December 2009.

Already 81% of Liverpool schools have achieved the status.


HEALTH KICK: Gateacre Comprehensive School receiving their award
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Nov 30, 2009
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